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Taguiwalo: Duterte didn’t keep faith with me

By: - Reporter / @jgamilINQ
/ 07:06 AM August 23, 2017

Judy Taguiwalo bids farewell to Department of Social Welfare and Development employees. —LYN RILLON

She kept her side of the bargain, former Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo said on her last day in office, as she expressed disappointment with President Duterte who put her in the position she served for 14 months.

“Mr. President, I kept faith with you. I am just saddened because I don’t think you kept faith with me till the end,” an emotional Taguiwalo said in Filipino in a speech she delivered at the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) central office on Tuesday, her last attendance of the flag-raising ceremony of the agency as its secretary.

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The agency’s employees, clad in black, also took the opportunity to turn the ceremony into a “send-off” for Taguiwalo, thanking her in speeches and songs.

“But still, thank you for allowing me to serve the Filipino people as a member of your Cabinet, for showing the Filipino people that the Left can serve honestly, with compassion, without corruption and with love for the country,” she said.

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The Commission on Appointments (CA) denied Taguiwalo’s confirmation last week with no explanation, although she believed it had something to do with her stand against the release of pork barrel funds upon mere referrals or requests from lawmakers.

Taguiwalo recalled that when she first met with Mr. Duterte last year, he gained her admiration for his being “inclusive,” his stand against corruption and his desire for government officials to lead simple lifestyles and be good public servants.

“So I said, ‘I can work with this President because these are the very basic tenets and principles of the Left, to which I belong,” Taguiwalo said.

Another speculation as to why her appointment was rejected was because of her being identified with leftist groups.

Taguiwalo appealed to Mr. Duterte to keep his support for another leftist Cabinet member, Rafael Mariano, whom he appointed Agrarian Reform secretary, and who would be facing the CA at the end of the month.

“People say I am too ‘radical.’ What is wrong with being radical? Radical means you address the roots [of poverty] and not just the symptoms,” Taguiwalo said.

The appointed DSWD officer-in-charge, Undersecretary Emmanuel Leyco, noted that while they were “mourning” Taguiwalo’s rejection, the DSWD would continue to “work hard to continue the lessons started” by his predecessor. “We will continue to stress honest public service, without corruption,” Leyco said.

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TAGS: Commission on Appointments, Duterte cabinet, Judy Taguiwalo, Rodrigo Duterte
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